‘Ardha’ means half. This asana is named after Yogi Matsyendranath who first taught it to the aspirant of Hatha
yoga. It is said that Matsyendranath was the disciple of Lord Shiva.
Technique : Place the right heel near the anus (buttock) below the testicles. Do not move the heel from this position. Bend the left knee and put the left ankle on the outer side of the right knee. Let the right armpit rest on the outer side of the left thigh. Now push the knee backwards so that it touches the back part of the armpit. Then hold the toe of the left foot with the right hand. Twist the spine slowly exerting force on the joint of the left shoulder. Let the spine be twisted to the left side as far as possible. Turn the head to the left side as far as it can go. Bring it to the line of the left shoulder. Take the left hand backwards and try to hold the right thigh with it. Keep the spine erect. Remain in this position for five to fifteen seconds. Repeat the same in reverse by twisting the spine to the right side. This asana makes the spine twist completely.
(1) This asana stimulates appetite.
(2) It awakens the Kundalini and stabilizes Chandranadi.
(3) It makes the spine elastic. It massages the
abdominal muscles and organs.
(4) It adjusts and corrects the displacement of the
vertebrae, rejuvenating the blood circulation in that part of
(5) It helps one in practising Pashchimottanasana.